Titles: Ravishing In Red (Book 1) February 2010
Provocative In Pearls (Book 2)
Sinful In Satin (Book 3) October 2010
Dangerous In Diamonds (Book 4) May 2011
Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Author: Madeline Hunter
Publisher: Jove, div. of Berkley Publishing
Series rating: 4
Series Sexy Rating: 5
Series Description: Four women reside and work in the country at Daphne Joyes home and business, The Rarest Blooms, where they grow flowers and fruit to sell to the London Society. These women all come from mysterious, secret backgrounds and the rule of the house is “don’t ask”.
Four gentlemen from London are friends, one an Earl, one the brother of a Marquess, One who has spied for the crown and one a Duke. They each become involved with the ladies of The Rarest Blooms.
Ravishing In Red-(rating-4) Armed with her cousin’s pistol, Audrianna travels to a coaching inn, to meet with a man who may have information that will clear her dead father’s name. She does not realize that the handsome man of commanding sensuality who shows up is not the person she expected, but instead Lord Sebastian Summerhays, one of her father’s persecutors, lured to the inn by the same advertisement that brought her there.
When the pistol accidentally fires, the situation becomes mortifyingly public, and thoroughly misunderstood. Audrianna is prepared to live with the scandal. Lord Sebastian has other ideas. . .
Provocative In Pearls-(rating-4)When Verity’s past abruptly finds her, her recent behavior promises to unleash the scandal of the decade. Of more concern to her, she now has to outwit fate or be forced back into a marriage to a lord whom she never freely accepted. She never expects for the stranger who is her husband to create so much sensual excitement, however, or for her quest for the life she was supposed to live instead to reveal a conspiracy that endangers them both.
Sinful In Satin-(rating 3.5)When famed London courtesan Alessandra Northrope passes away, her daughter Celia Pennifold inherits little more than a hopelessly contaminated reputation, a house in a middle class neighborhood, and an education that prepared her to take her mother’s place the way Alessandra intended. Celia hopes to make her own life on her own terms, however, and moves into the house only to discover one more legacy—an enigmatic, handsome tenant who knows her mother’s plans for her future rather too well.
Jonathan thinks he is on a simple mission to discover whether Celia’s mother left accounts of her lovers that might embarrass important men. Instead he finds himself embroiled in a mystery full of dangerous betrayals and secrets, old and new, that touch on his life as well as Celia’s.
Dangerous In Diamonds-(rating-4)The Duke of Castleford has been so bad for so long that scandal can’t be bothered to rise up around him anymore. To alleviate the boredom of his privileged life, he occupies himself with drinking and whoring, not to mention the occasional duel. When something piques his interest, however, he has been known to emerge from his ennui and employ his considerable mental faculties to finding answers to the questions that fascinate him.
When Daphne Joyes rejects this notorious hedonist’s seduction, she assumes that he will forget about her and continue on his path to hell. Instead her beauty, grace and formidable composure captivate him, and she becomes one of those fascinations to him. That he intends to have her, and soon, is actually the least of the dangers that his pursuit of her presents. More troublesome is his interest in her past and her history, and the way he keeps poking his nose into the secrets behind the distant relative’s bequest that gave him ownership of the property where she lives.
I could have reviewed each of these books separately but I am not going to do that. “Why?” you say. Well, it is because they, all together, really read like one long novel. ( I suppose many series are like that but never mind, this is how I am doing it.) All the characters are mentioned in each book. Yes, each book has its own side story and plot to expose the mystery of that books heroine. But it still was all one story. Not complaining mind you, I kept reading each one right after the other to find out what would happen to the next hero and heroine. Thankfully there are no cliff hangers at the end of each book but there are hints about the characters. This made me want to continue on with the series. I was delighted to wonder about each side character as the series progressed. Especially that rakish rogue the Duke of Castleford (the baddest are always the most intriguing) and Daphne who seemed the most mysterious of all. Yes I liked some stories better and I have rated each book according to my degree of liking. Sometimes the characters were more likable than other times. But all in all this is a very readable series. The author is accurate in her use of titles and scene for the regency period. I did think at times that the characters sometimes were a bit too “modern” for the time period but I will defer to Ms. Hunter’s expertise in history.